I think I speak for a lot of fans when talking about the bi-polar mood we were all in during the end of last nights game, one moment were all furious at Pierce's isolation play then suddenly 7 points later were screaming for Pierce to get the ball. In yet another vintage performance from the Captain he hit three straight shots in overtime to lead the Celtics to a big win in Utah. It wasn't always pretty and the Celtics could have put away the game much earlier but they gutted out a great win to finish the road swing strong. After playing 5 games in 7 nights the C's needed this win but rest was also a priority, Doc asked if Kevin Garnett needed to sit out the OT, but the team kept battling and can return home to some off days and rest.
Paul Pierce just couldn't be denied
The team put together a slightly better offensive performance with the entire starting five hitting double figures with the Jason Terry joining them from the bench. For a small portion of the game you would have thought the Knicks were playing with all the three point jumpshots being thrown up but the biggest shot of the night came from long range so for one night no harm was done.
The new guys didn't have much impact, Terrance Williams didn't even play, which is disappointing.
Though we've seen flashes I've been dying to see these guys play some big minutes to see their true potential but Doc had other plans. The low minutes could be a product of not knowing the playbook and defense yet but hopefully with these next three days to relax the guys can get a crash course and start playing consistent minutes.
Nights when his offense is clicking and defense
are clicking are special to see.
Pierce is the guy thats going to get all the attention, and rightfully so, but Avery Bradley put together a great game. On top of grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing 4 assists, he hit 2 shots from long range and contributed 18 points. It's no coincidence that in one of his best games of the season the starting backcourt for the Jazz shot 3-11 and had a plus/minus of -14. Even though he brings his defensive intensity to every game and we see that hustle on a daily basis I'm still awe of how the kid can keep it up. No athlete should have the physical ability to hound other guys defensively for every minute he's on the court and now his shot seems to be working it's way back which has to be scary for opposing guards.
The hustle from Courtney is a staple
of his game.
His backcourt mate, and fellow pit bull, Courtney Lee made his presence felt on both sides of the ball as well. His 14 points were big considering no one on the bench really had it offensively, Yes Terry had 14 points but it took 13 shots, and he even added 5 boards and 3 assists. Though he was heavily scrutinized at the beginning of the season for his play Lee has kept his head up the whole way and is reaping the rewards with some great production of late.
The front court for the C's did a solid job containing the bigs for Utah while hitting some timely shots. As a team the C's were only out rebounded by 7 but the 15 offensive rebounds are too much to give up. Facing a team built around big men is rare in today's NBA so C's should be able to work on it and do a better job come Friday when the Warriors come to town.
For one night age didn't matter and the team with all the old timers fought and won when all logic said this was the game they'd lose. The schedule wasn't doing them any favors but the Celtics hit it in stride and made no excuses. Their still right their in the standings so wins like this can help as the team tries to climb out of the hole they've dug.
I was going to talk about the Captain, about how he dropped a game high 26 points or handed out 8 assists while grabbing 7 rebounds. There's also the clutch scoring and consistent defensive effort but who needs to hear all that because as the Jazz learned last night the truth hurts.